Federal Grant For Sioux Falls Site Fuels Amazon Speculation
The federal government is providing money to help develop a Sioux Falls industrial park that's the site of a long-rumored but unconfirmed project with Amazon.
The Commerce Department’s Economic Development Administration announced a $1.9 million grant Wednesday to the Sioux Falls Development Foundation. The foundation will use the money at Foundation Park, a partially developed, 800-acre area immediately northwest of the I-29 and I-90 junction.
The foundation will pair the grant with $478,830 in local funds. The foundation's president and CEO, Bob Mundt, said the money will fund construction of a main road in the park.
“This will really help us to market that property as developable land, since it’s all serviced from roads, infrastructure, etcetera," Mundt said. "Access is key, and we have that now, or will have that after the construction is completed.”
The foundation’s grant application in July (which was obtained by the Argus Leader) said there will be an Amazon facility in the park. Mundt said he can’t comment on that.
“No not at this time, again, speculation and rumor I can’t comment on," Mundt said.
The grant application said Amazon will build a $200 million facility and generate 1,000 jobs. The grant announcement from the Commerce Department identified those same numbers as the expected return on the grant. But the announcement did not mention Amazon or any other company by name.
Amazon’s public relations department responded to SDPB with a written statement: “We are constantly exploring new locations and weighing a variety of factors when deciding where to develop sites to best serve customers, however, we don’t provide information on our future roadmap.”
Amazon is one of the world’s biggest companies. It has more than 250,000 employees working at 175 fulfillment centers around the globe.
The grant money for the Sioux Falls Development Foundation comes from the federal coronavirus response legislation known as the CARES Act, which included $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
-Seth Tupper is SDPB's business and economic development reporter.